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Smoking cessation counselling and nicotine replacement therapy have resumed at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. Call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or toll free at 1-877-721-7520 if you would like a public health nurse to call you to support you in your quit attempt. Every attempt brings you closer to quitting for good!

Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to protect your health and prevent long-term health issues like cancers, heart attacks, strokes, COPD and other diseases caused, or made worse by, smoking and commercial tobacco use.

  • If you stop smoking before the onset of irreversible heart and circulatory disease, your body will begin to repair itself. Repair begins almost immediately.
  • The risk of tooth loss decreases after quitting smoking.
  • Within 20 minutes of quitting blood pressure, pulse and the temperature in your hands and feet all return to normal.
  • Within eight hours the carbon monoxide and oxygen levels in your blood return to normal and smoker's breath disappears.
  • Within 24 hours carbon monoxide will be eliminated from your body; lungs begin to clear out mucus and smoking debris.
  • Within 72 hours lung capacity will have increased and you'll find it's easier to breathe.
  • Within 3 - 9 months lung function is increased up to 10%, coughing and wheezing problems will improve, sinus congestion will be alleviated.
  • Within one year your risk of heart disease is about one-half that of a smoker.
  • Within 10 years risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker.
  • Within 15 years your risk of heart disease is the same as that of a person who never smoked.

When you are ready to quit smoking, free supports are available, including nicotine replacement therapies like patches and gum, counselling, self-help materials, and you can get encouragement and join others working to become smoke free through the Tobacco-Free Chatter community Facebook page.

If you choose to do it on your own, there are plenty of self-help materials available online to help too.

Community Supports

Barrie    Collingwood     Muskoka     North Simcoe     Orillia     South Simcoe

Nicotine replacement products help control cravings

There are now many tested and safe nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) on the market to help you quit smoking. NRT can double your chances of quitting for good. You don't need a prescription since it is available over the counter. If you work, your employer's health plan may offer coverage. Some types of NRT include mouth spray, patch, inhalers, lozenges and gum. There are also pharmaceutical supports that you can talk to your health care provider about. These are available only by prescription but are covered by many drug plans, including Ontario Disability Supplement Program (ODSP).

Nicotine replacement products and how to use them






Quit incentives and challenges can help you when you are ready to quit. Some are geared to young adults.

Quit success stories can also motivate and support you by hearing about the quit success stories of others in our communities.

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If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

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